Thursday, April 29, 2010

Kill Teams

Strange night at my local gaming club. We only had three players to begin with so we went for a slightly modifed version of the Kill Teams mission from Battle Missions. We stuck with 200 points but allowed individual models from units that would otherwise be too large. So one guy took a single terminator armed with an assault cannon to count as his elite troops for example.

I went with a lone wolf armed with hammer and shield and five Grey Hunters plus Wulfen and Powerfist for my 200. They were up against a handful of marines and a small squad of IG, complete with Chimera. Taking the opportunity to roleplay my Lone Wolf a bit I singled out the tank as the closest thing to a monstrous creature and was able to disable it before he fled the table anyway. No true kill there, but instead my guy met his end in a one-round duel with the other terminator. Fittingly, both termies died together, crushing each other's skulls and bodies with hammer and power fist. Mine is the only one whose saga now includes the tale of his final heroic battle though :) The 3+ invulnerable save and Feel No Pain were awesome for allowing him to cover quite some distance in between combats. Game ended in a draw after my last remaining Grey Hunter duelled in close combat with an enemy scout for around 10 rounds. Yes, 10. The combat was easy - it was the continual leadership tests we were having to take before each round that was nail-biting!

Second game had four players as we were joined in combat by a collection of tau gun drones, battlesuits and fire warriors. Unfortunately my Lone Wolf got a little ping-ponged this time around though. He chose the tank again as his primary target, then altered course for the marine's terminator when it looked like the Tau were going to do for the tank, then had to turn around again when the guard actually managed to force the Tau to flee, meaning I now had to guard my rear. Our menage a trois gave the other marine player time enough to move his plasma gun and assault cannon into position to finish off my grey hunters and my Loner failed his leadership test and was removed. As I type that though I do begin to wonder whether Lone Wolf's have some protection against this happening. But then maybe thats just the way Kill Teams work. Short, messy, and violent, and all a bit of a laugh.


Got a new spray gun from GW in the post this morning and, hold your breath, the parts all fit together! This meant I was able to spend some time spraying up the remainder of my Wolf Guard army and a few normal marines as well. A quick write-up on the spray gun then.

I wish I had known how quickly this thing applies paint before I did three drop-pods, a LRC and a rhino by hand! Honestly - between five and ten minutes to coat 8 terminators in a nice even colour that dries to a smooth finish, ready for shading and highlighting. The finished coat looks like the plastic itself is coloured, its that smooth.

Its not quite as simple as lining up the figures and spraying them in smooth side-to-side motions though. The intricate nature of the sculpts and the model's poses meant I could not get away without picking each one up to angle them so as to let the paint jet get into some of the nooks and crannies. As a result I now have Space Wolves grey fingers and thumb so everyone I meet at the club tonight will instantly know what I've been doing. Caught blue-handed.

The setup of the gun is a little finicky too. The adapter that attaches to the propellant can is a little looser than I would like - I could hear a little hiss of escaping gas when I changed cans halfway through the session, even though the adapter was tightly screwed on. The hiss did stop though so I guess this could just be a consequence of all the pars taking a second to expand or contract into place.

Judging the quantity of paint going into the jar could be more an art than a science too. The marks the jar has on it are designed for foundation paints only so one has to use slightly less water for normal colours. When you're using a homemade mixture like I do for Wolves base coat that already has had a little water added to dilute there's no way of knowing in advance what consistency you want the spray mix to be. I'm a little surprised GW haven't included a guide for non-foundation paint mixtures, but hey-ho. I seemed to have got the right thickness in the end and I guess there's always going to be an element of experimentation involved anyway.

Its hard to say how efficient the spray gun is. As I considered the amount of wastage involved in transfering my paint mix into the gun's canister and then returning the excess back to the original jar I began to wonder if this wasn't just another way for GW to make me buy more of their paints! Naturally a lot of paint in the spray you fire is going to miss the model completely and I can life with that. But I hate the thought of leaving paint in the gun's jar just to be washed away duing the rinse! Surely GW could have come up with an adapter that fitted directly onto the plastic pots the paints come in? Maybe not, maybe I'm asking too much. I guess its really not that much wastage in the grand scheme of things and, after all, the spray gun's greatest economy is in time spent, not paint.

All in all I'm positive about Citadel's little melta-themed effort. I'm looking forward to the next time I need to paint vehicles or buildings and wondering what magic I can perform with stencils and camo patterns. No doubt this pray gun is not the greatest of its kind - I'm sure you can find more high tech tools with more bells and whitles on out there. But for a beginner hobbyist like myself without too much spare time or cash to spend, this one is more than adequate.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Getting Started

Well, I had planned to kick off this Space Wolves blog with a look at using the Citadel spray gun to base coat my brand new wolf guard terminators. Sadly the process didn't turn out as smoothly as I'd hoped for.

Turns out I got a duff gun from the local GW store. The pipe from the paint bottle didn't fit into the one on the gun itself without some severe brute-forcing. I managed to get enough paint out to coat three models before I decided this just couldn't be working as intended. My store's manager confirmed this and was happy to replace the gun. Unluckily for me they had no more guns in stock so I had to order one from the web. Should arrive tomorrow.

I did get on with painting the termies I had sprayed though. They're nearly finished - I took pictures to prove it. But it turns out my camera phone really isn't that good at close up stills, even with macro setting enabled, so the pictures are all blurry. Gonna work on that tonight and tomorrow and see if I can't come up with a solution.

In the meantime, a little background on the wolf guard I'm painting. A tip I picked up from a friend was that Space Wolves tend to do well at larger points limits because they have access to some powerful special characters. When I looked at the most powerful and special of their characters, Logan Grimnar, I saw his inclusion in an army made Wolf Guard count as troops. So I decided to put together an all-Wolf Guard, all terminator army list. I'll put the full list up later, but for now at 1500 points I have Logan and 19 brothers in 3 drop pods. For 1750 I stay with Logan and 18 guards but add in Njal Stormcaller. I'm gonna play around with subbing Njal out for a Land Raider, but at this stage I really like the impact Njal has on enemy infantry.

All this leaves me with lots of termies to paint and needing lots of games to practise before the Triple Crown Tournament at GW Headquarters in June. Yeah, I know - an all-terminator army is not going to win a tournament. But as I've only been playing the game since December I don't expect to win. This tournament is going to be mostly about fun, meeting people, and checking out Warhammer World. And hey, I have won three of my last four games locally with the all-termie funtime explosion force (and drawn once), so hey, who knows what might happen?